IATEFL BESIG Annual Conference in Prague – Online Programme

2013 Annual Conference Online Programme

We are delighted to invite an online audience to join us for a programme of talks broadcast live from the IATEFL BESIG Annual Conference in Prague, Czech Republic.

You can find the programme here





Learning to speak ‘merican’

Vicki Hollet

In A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Crystal (1985) gives the following definition: Pragmatics “is the study of language from the point of view of users, especially of the choices they make, the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction and the effects their use of language has on other participants in the act of communication.”

People not only need to learn English, they also require information on how to talk about what constitutes appropriate and inappropriate speech acts in different contexts.

Intercultural communication awareness is a crucial component of any good language learning experience.

In this IATEFL Webinar, Vicki Hollett explores some of the curious differences between linguistic politeness in these two influential English varieties – British and American.

This video also raises the question of what model of English we teach. When we correct our students’ pronunciation, on what grounds do we decide?

English, as the common language among speakers of different languages, has key implications when teaching pronunciation. Users of English communicate successfully in accents that differ significantly from either Received Pronunciation (RP) or General American (GA). Many linguists have questioned the use of these models given the fact that native speaker accents are not necessarily the most intelligible or appropriate accents when a non-native speaker is communicating with another.

IATEFL Webinar

Saturday, October 19 at 2:00 GMT . You can check your local time here

To join the webinar please go to http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/vickihollet2/

You do not need to register in advance to join this webinar, just click on the link above and then:

  • Ensure “Enter as Guest” is selected
  • Enter your name and country
  • Click “Enter room”
Adrian at SIT clip

The Jazz of Teaching and Learning

Spontaneity, improvising and demanding high. Adrian at SIT clip

How do they correlate? When we improvise and move away from the plan, are we still helping our students achieve their language goals?

Many of us think we do, but, are we challenging them to their full potential?

These are some of the questions Adrian Underhill is going to address at the IATEFL Webinar on September 14.

 “When teaching we probably start out with a plan developed before the lesson. As the lesson unfolds the predictable occurs and we depart from the plan, and the class becomes a living interaction rather than the enactment of a script.  The same happens when jazz improvisers depart from the sheet music. Such improvisation makes up the bulk of most lessons yet remains ‘invisible’.  I therefore refer to it as the dark matter of teaching. This dark matter of teaching is not properly represented in the plan, course book, material, training or supervision, and thus neither critiqued nor developed. In this webinar I will explore this theme and offer suggestions for making this dark matter of teaching visible, discussible, and improvable.”

Andi White and Kristen Donaghy interviewed Adrian Underhill at the 47th Annual International IATEFL Conference.

In this interview he talks about spontaneity in the classroom.

Demand High is an idea Adrian Underhill and Jim Scrivener came up with, as a result of about two years of conversations trying to review what they had learned about language teaching throughout their careers.

You can learn more about this on their blog here  and by watching Jim Scrivener’s interview at the 47th Annual International IATEFL Conference.

Adrian Underhill talks about Demand High

Ready to join the webinar now?

Go to http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/adrianunderhill/

You do not need to register in advance to join this webinar, just click on the link above and then:

  • Ensure “Enter as Guest” is selected
  • Enter your name and country
  • Click “Enter room”

When? 14 September 2013, 3pm BST – You can check your local time here

See you online!

“This is a living profession, a constant evolving profession”

Little of (or in) this world is plain black or white; it’s all shades of grey; there is no room for ultra-confidence.
Global ELT used this phrase to show an example of how the expression ‘shades of grey’ can be used.

Nowadays, with all the changes in technology and research conducted there are fewer certainties about how things should be done, how we can better help our students achieve their English communication skills goals.

Jeremy Harmer has been asking six key questions regarding the teaching of English in some of his talks

  1. Technology – Do teachers need to be competent users of technology?
  2. Error correction – Does correction actually work? Is reformulating or recasting a successful way of making our students’ English more correct?
  3. Testing – Is testing necessary? Does it have an educational benefit?
  4. Content Language Integrated Learning – Should we teach content, something interesting, and then, the language necessary to talk about that content?
  5. Rapport – What does good rapport look like in different cultures? How do we train teachers to create good rapport?
  6. Drilling – Is teaching through repetition back? Is it a good technique?

You need to interrogate what you do all the time? Question yourself.

Good practice? But how do you know? – this is a question he posed on his blog last week

You can find it here.


Next Saturday, July 27, Jeremy Harmer with be delivering a webinar in the IATEFL Adobe platform at 3pm BST – you can find out your local time here

‘Yes, but why do we need teachers at all’

We all think that teachers should motivate their students and help them to become successful learners – but what does that actually mean? And what is the balance of ‘the-teacher-as-motivator’, and the teacher who knows – and knows how to help students know?
Furthermore, in a world where people are offering digital solutions to learning problems, how has/will the teacher’s role change?

This session will look at opinions from English language teaching – and from outside the field – to come up with a new way of looking at how we can help our students to be more effective.

To join the webinar please go to http://iatefl.adobeconnect.com/jeremyharmer/

You do not need to register in advance to join this webinar, just click on the link above and then:

  • Ensure “Enter as Guest” is selected
  • Enter your name and country
  • Click “Enter room”
Jeremy Harmer - Mercedes Viola IATEFL Conference 2011

Mercedes Viola – Jeremy Harmer
IATEFL Annual Conference 2011

5 Myths About Teaching Learners With Special Educational Needs

Mercedes Viola:

Debunking myths

Originally posted on Oxford University Press:

Group of friends in a circle from belowMarie Delaney is a teacher, trainer, educational psychotherapist and author of ‘Teaching the Unteachable’ (Worth). She has worked extensively with pupils with Special Educational Needs and trains teachers in this area.

Do you have learners with special educational needs (SENs) in your class? Have you had any training for teaching these learners? Probably not.

In many countries across the world governments are promoting a policy of inclusion for learners with SENs. However, there is often a gap in training and resources for teachers to implement this. This has led many teachers to feel anxious and insecure about their teaching skills. There are some common fears and misconceptions which make a lot of teachers anxious.

5 myths that make teachers anxious

  1. You have to be a specially trained teacher to teach learners with SENs
    Not true. Good teaching strategies will benefit all learners. Good classroom management and a positive attitude are things…

View original 485 more words

Innovations in Learning Technologies for English Language Teaching

The British Council released a publication on innovation in technology use in English teaching and learning. This publication offers a different approach to the uses of learning technologies in the language classroom.

Innovations in Learning Technologies for English Language Teaching starts by considering the following contexts of language learning: primary, secondary and adult learners, then different specialist areas: Business English, English for Specific Purposes and English for Academic Purposes, and finally the assessment of language using technology. Each chapter embeds a number of real-life case studies into a framework of research. The chapters show some of the development of the field, and a wide range of technologies is covered.

Each chapter was written by a different author or group of authors: Chris Pim, Graham Stanley, Diane Slaouti, Zeynep Onat-Stelma and Gary Motteram, Nergiz Kern, Jody Gilbert, Russell Stannard and Anthony ‘Skip’ Basiel. Teachers from all over the world contributed with case studies.


I would really like to thank Nergiz Kern for inviting me to contribute with a case a study.


The book can be downloaded for free here or a print version can be bought here.

You can see Nergiz Kern’s blog post about this publication here



IATEFL BESIG Online Conference – Meet the speakers

Meet the speakers: Angela Lloyd.

Meet the speakers: Jeremy Day.

Meet the speakers: Marjorie Rosenberg.

Meet the speakers: Valentina Dodge.

Meet the speakers: Nick Michelioudakis.

Meet the speakers: Ros Wright.

Meet the speakers: Carol Heiberger.